Russell Martin hoping Norwich City can delay title party of his hometown club Brighton
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's players are in no mood to host Brighton's title party, Russell Martin insists.
The Seagulls fly north to Carrow Road on Friday for a televised clash that would see them seal the Championship crown with a win.
Brighton may be the 31-year-old's hometown club but he doesn't fancy watching celebrations from the edge of the dance floor when former Canaries boss Chris Hughton and his team arrive.
'I'm from Brighton and grew up there and most of my friends support them so, for me, I just don't want them to come here and win the league – as simple as that,' City skipper Martin said.
'As much as I'm pleased for Chris and I know a lot of people who are involved with the club or support the club, I'm pleased for them but I'm more disappointed that we're not there with them.
'Looking at their celebrations and everything, they've deserved it, don't get me wrong, but although I was pleased for them I was also jealous.
'I've been lucky enough to do it twice so I know exactly how it feels and I would have liked that again this season. But I just don't want them to come here and win the league – they can save that for their last home game.'
Martin was speaking at a Carrow Road event organised by the EFL's official DIY partner Wickes, where the City skipper presented Old Catton under-nines with a new strip as part of the Kits for Kids initiative.
Asked if he was pleased to see Hughton enjoying success with the Seagulls, the Scotland international continued: 'I am, I think every member of staff that you speak to at this football club would probably say the same.
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'He's a really good man and if you look at his Championship record, it's brilliant, right up there with the best. So what he's done at that club is tremendous, a great job, and I've got a lot of respect for him as a person and as a football person as well.
'But like I said I don't want them to come here and enjoy coming here. They've achieved what they set out to achieve in getting promoted and the next step is winning the league, hopefully they do that the game after and hopefully we can beat them here, simple as that.'
Martin was still beaming after helping his team to a rare away win at Preston on Monday, just the fifth of 22 matches on the road for the Canaries this season.
'We needed it, the fans needed it, I think everyone needed it,' he added, of the 3-1 success at Deepdale. 'To go there – they've been brilliant there since the turn of the year and not lost there – so to go there and do that and the manner we did, first half we were excellent, second half was a little different but we deserved the win in the end.
'So to go there and do that, I think Alan (Irvine, interim head coach) was right what he said before the game, people have questioned character, personality, things like that this season and that's the last thing that should be questioned: your desire.
'So it was nice to get that win and it certainly had a different feel. We can't play for the play-offs or anything like that at the minute, it's about playing for professional pride and showing that you want to be here next year, showing that your worthy.
'So the lads were pleased, it certainly had a different feel to it.'
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